‘A little less conversation, a little more action please’… After two days of talking it’s time to change pace and invite a new group of practitioner-students to carry on the discussions on their blogs. (Of course, conversation counts as action in our world). Here are some tips to get you started:
- Set up your blog. I recommend WordPress (though quite ‘techie’, it’s open source, industry standard and free); there’s a ready-made forum for your PR-focused WordPress blog at PR Blogs.org. From then on, it’s about content, conections and community:
- Content: Have any ideas in class sparked your interest? What are other PR bloggers writing about? What’s going on in the world? What have you been reading? So many questions… How will you write about it (short and frequent posts probably work better than long and occasional ones).
- Connections. Think link: is your blog a stepping stone to other sources and ideas? Are you begining to get noticed (inbound links, comments, RSS subscriptions)? Remember that Technorati authority will be one of the ways of evaluating your efforts.
- Community. Who cares? Diarists throughout history have been content to write for themselves (and occasionally for posterity). That’s a good start point. If what you write has some value to a handful of people whose commentary also interests you, then you will have developed a valuable community. Some blogs have a wider reach than newspapers; most are better for focusing on small, niche interests. Join PROpenMic and let this vibrant community of PR students, practitioners and faculty know about your blogs.
Some key guidelines. Get started before the end of October, and communicate your blog’s URL by the usual channels (email, social networks, class wiki page). You need to keep your blog running for three months: it will be formally assessed after the end of January 2009. My guidelines for PR student blogs may still help, though much has changed in the last two years.